DIVERGENT CAREER PATHS

This issue’s Retro Review tells of two superb vocalists whose careers took different paths in the late 80s and early 90s. Lisa Rich was a rising singer with a new album ready for release when health problems sidelined her career. Betty Carter was at the zenith of her career, and was celebrated in a career retrospective at Jazz at Lincoln Center. The recordings have received belated releases, and Thomas Cunniffe discusses both in this essay.

More

“SINGER’S SURVIVAL GUIDE TO TOURING” (by Elisabeth Lohninger)

While universities do a credible job of training young jazz musicians for successful careers, the one course usually missing from the curriculum might be the most beneficial: “The Road 101”. Elisabeth Lohninger comes to the rescue with “Singer’s Survival Guide to Touring”, a comprehensive guide to life on the road. In his book review, Thomas Cunniffe notes that while the book is designed for vocalists, much of the information is equally applicable to instrumentalists.

More

THE MANY SOUNDS OF “SUMMERTIME”

In honor of the upcoming Summer equinox, Jazz History Online’s principal writer has retrieved and revised one of his vintage articles, discussing 17 different of George Gershwin’s “Summertime”. Embedded YouTube clips are included, so grab an iced tea and take this article out on the porch.

More

NEW SONGS: DISCOVERED & CREATED

The challenge for singers to find unique repertoire is not new, but with new jazz vocalists debuting every week, the repertoire challenge is as important as ever. Thomas Cunniffe reviews new CDs by Claire Martin, Judy Wexler, Hilary Gardner and Rosana Eckert which find solutions to this continuing issue.

More

BASSISTS & COMPOSERS

All three of the albums covered in this issue’s Instrumental CD Reviews are led by bassists, but they are also tied together in their focus on compositions by the leaders and well-regarded masters. Thomas Cunniffe examines albums by Jay Anderson, Mark Dresser and Linda May Han Oh.

More

CYRILLE AIMÉE AT THE SOILED DOVE, DENVER (June 6, 2019)

The Soiled Dove, a 300-seat club in East Denver was transformed into an intimate cabaret on June 6, 2019, as Cyrille Aimée presented her jazzy interpretations of Stephen Sondheim’s Broadway songs. Thomas Cunniffe was there, and in this Concert Review, he reports that the music’s presentation varied considerably from her recent CD, as Cyrille used a reduced instrumentation (piano and bass) and added detailed introductions of the songs.

More

NOTES FROM THE EDITOR 6-19

Welcome back to Jazz History Online! I’m pleased to report that our entire archive is now fully functional on the new site. With help from a few of our supporters, we’ll do some work inside the site which will help our search visibility on Google and other search engines, and correct several outdated links. We […]

More

Remembering Amy Duncan

Former Jazz History Online contributor Amy Duncan passed away in June 2018. With the exception of a single Facebook post by jazz critic Chip Deffaa, no obituaries or memorials have appeared in print or online since Amy’s passing. In this special edition of Sidetracks, Thomas Cunniffe curates a tribute to our friend and colleague, Amy Hildreth Duncan. (Cover photo by Robert Serbinenko.)

More

Duke Ellington’s Sacred Concerts

Duke Ellington considered his three Sacred Concerts to be his most important works. Many critics disagreed, but as Thomas Cunniffe argues in this Historical Essay, Ellington was trying to spread his personal view of religion to a wide swath of listeners, and as a result, his music moved from the lofty to the commonplace with stunning frequency.

More